IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp8789.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why is Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Trade, Regulation, Productivity, and Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Shapiro, Joseph S.

    (Yale University)

  • Walker, Reed

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

Between 1990 and 2008, emissions of the most common air pollutants from U.S. manufacturing fell by 60 percent, even as real U.S. manufacturing output grew substantially. This paper develops a quantitative model to explain how changes in trade, environmental regulation, productivity, and consumer preferences have contributed to these reductions in pollution emissions. We estimate the model's key parameters using administrative data on plant-level production and pollution decisions. We then combine these estimates with detailed historical data to provide a model-driven decomposition of the causes of the observed pollution changes. Finally, we compare the model-driven decomposition to a statistical decomposition. The model and data suggest three findings. First, the fall in pollution emissions is due to decreasing pollution per unit output within narrowly defined products, rather than to changes in the types of products produced or changes to the total quantity of manufacturing output. Second, the implicit pollution tax that rationalizes firm production and abatement behavior more than doubled between 1990 and 2008. Third, environmental regulation explains 75 percent or more of the observed reduction in pollution emissions from manufacturing.

Suggested Citation

  • Shapiro, Joseph S. & Walker, Reed, 2015. "Why is Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Trade, Regulation, Productivity, and Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 8789, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8789
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ftp.iza.org/dp8789.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Feenstra, Robert C., 2018. "Restoring the product variety and pro-competitive gains from trade with heterogeneous firms and bounded productivity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 16-27.
    2. Sharat Ganapati & Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2016. "Energy Prices, Pass-Through, and Incidence in U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 16-27, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Natalia Fabra & Mar Reguant, 2014. "Pass-Through of Emissions Costs in Electricity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2872-2899, September.
    4. W. Reed Walker, 2013. "The Transitional Costs of Sectoral Reallocation: Evidence From the Clean Air Act and the Workforce," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1787-1835.
    5. Dana C. Andersen, 2016. "Credit Constraints, Technology Upgrading, and the Environment," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 283-319.
    6. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, September.
    7. J. Scott Holladay, 2016. "Exporters and the environment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 49(1), pages 147-172, February.
    8. Meredith Fowlie & Mar Reguant & Stephen P. Ryan, 2016. "Market-Based Emissions Regulation and Industry Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 249-302.
    9. E. Mark Curtis, 2014. "Who Loses Under Power Plant Cap-and-Trade Programs?," NBER Working Papers 20808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hettige, Hemamala & Martin, Paul & Singh, Manjula & Wheeler,David R., 1995. "The industrial pollution projection system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1431, The World Bank.
    11. Pol Antràs & Teresa C. Fort & Felix Tintelnot, 2017. "The Margins of Global Sourcing: Theory and Evidence from US Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(9), pages 2514-2564, September.
    12. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2019. "The Elusive Pro-Competitive Effects of Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(1), pages 46-80.
    13. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2014. "International Trade, Offshoring and Heterogeneous Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 59-72, February.
    14. Udo Kreickemeier & Philipp M. Richter, 2014. "Trade and the Environment: The Role of Firm Heterogeneity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 209-225, May.
    15. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
    16. Becker, Randy A., 2005. "Air pollution abatement costs under the Clean Air Act: evidence from the PACE survey," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 144-169, July.
    17. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
    18. Cherniwchan, Jevan, 2017. "Trade liberalization and the environment: Evidence from NAFTA and U.S. manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 130-149.
    19. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 755-787.
    20. Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2012. "Defensive Investments and the Demand for Air Quality: Evidence from the NOx Budget Program and Ozone Reductions," NBER Working Papers 18267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Ariel Burstein & Eduardo Morales & Jonathan Vogel, 2015. "Accounting for Changes in Between-Group Inequality," NBER Working Papers 20855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    23. Ronald Shadbegian & Randy Becker, 2004. "A Change of PACE: Comparing the 1994 and 1999 Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures Surveys," Working Papers 04-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    24. Bajona, Claustre & Pierce, Andrea & Missios, Paul, 2010. "Trade and the Environment with Heterogeneous Firms," MPRA Paper 71405, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    25. Robert Dekle & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2008. "Global Rebalancing with Gravity: Measuring the Burden of Adjustment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(3), pages 511-540, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Agarwal, Sumit & Deng, Yongheng & Li, Teng, 2019. "Environmental regulation as a double-edged sword for housing markets: Evidence from the NOx Budget Trading Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 286-309.
    2. Lamperti, Francesco & Napoletano, Mauro & Roventini, Andrea, 2020. "Green Transitions And The Prevention Of Environmental Disasters: Market-Based Vs. Command-And-Control Policies," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(7), pages 1861-1880, October.
    3. E. Mark Curtis, 2014. "Who Loses Under Power Plant Cap-and-Trade Programs?," NBER Working Papers 20808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli & David Popp, 2018. "Environmental Regulation and Green Skills: An Empirical Exploration," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 713-753.
    5. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2017. "Environmental and resource economics: A Canadian retrospective," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1381-1413, December.
    6. Eva Lyubich & Joseph Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2018. "Regulating Mismeasured Pollution: Implications of Firm Heterogeneity for Environmental Policy," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 136-142, May.
    7. Lamperti, F. & Dosi, G. & Napoletano, M. & Roventini, A. & Sapio, A., 2020. "Climate change and green transitions in an agent-based integrated assessment model," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    8. Dana C. Andersen, 2016. "Credit Constraints, Technology Upgrading, and the Environment," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 283-319.
    9. Larch, Mario & Wanner, Joschka, 2017. "Carbon tariffs: An analysis of the trade, welfare, and emission effects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 195-213.
    10. Cherniwchan, Jevan, 2017. "Trade liberalization and the environment: Evidence from NAFTA and U.S. manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 130-149.
    11. Hochman, Gal & Zilberman, David, 2021. "Optimal environmental taxation in response to an environmentally-unfriendly political challenger," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).
    12. Francesco Lamperti & Giovanni Dosi & Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini & Alessandro Sapio, 2018. "And then he wasn't a she : Climate change and green transitions in an agent-based integrated assessment model," Sciences Po publications 28, Sciences Po.
    13. Michael L. Polemis & Thanasis Stengos, 2019. "Does competition prevent industrial pollution? Evidence from a panel threshold model," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 98-110, January.
    14. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli, 2019. "Measures, drivers and effects of green employment: evidence from US local labor markets, 2006–2014," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(5), pages 1021-1048.
    15. Geoffrey Barrows & Helene Ollivier, 2016. "Emission intensity and firm dynamics: reallocation, product mix, and technology in India," GRI Working Papers 245, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    16. Giovanni Marin & Francesco Vona, 2017. "The Impact of Energy Prices on Employment and Environmental Performance: Evidence from French Manufacturing Establishments," Working Papers 2017.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    17. Dana C. Andersen, 2020. "Default Risk, Productivity, and the Environment: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 75(4), pages 677-710, April.
    18. Andersen, Dana C., 2016. "Accounting for Firm Exit and Loss of Variety in the Welfare Cost of Regulations," Working Papers 2016-9, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    19. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2017. "Environmental and resource economics: A Canadian retrospective," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(5), pages 1381-1413, December.
    20. Arik Levinson & James O'Brien, 2015. "Environmental Engel Curves," NBER Working Papers 20914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Brunel, Claire & Johnson, Erik Paul, 2019. "Two birds, one stone? Local pollution regulation and greenhouse gas emissions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-12.
    22. Feng Liu & Kangning Xu & Meina Zheng, 2018. "The Effect of Environmental Regulation on Employment in China: Empirical Research Based on Individual-Level Data," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(7), pages 1-23, July.
    23. Inácio Araúgo & Randall Jackson & Amir B. Ferreira Neto & Fernando Perobelli, 2018. "Environmental Costs of European Union Membership: A Structural Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers Working Paper 2018-04, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    24. Skidmore, Marin & Foltz, Jeremy D. & Andarge, Tihitina, 2021. "Effectiveness of local regulations on non-point source pollution: Evidence from Wisconsin dairy farms," 2021 Annual Meeting, August 1-3, Austin, Texas 313932, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    25. Eva Lyubich & Joseph Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2018. "Regulating Mismeasured Pollution: Implications of Firm Heterogeneity for Environmental Policy," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 136-142, May.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2018. "Why Is Pollution from US Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Environmental Regulation, Productivity, and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(12), pages 3814-3854, December.
    2. Andersen, Dana C., 2016. "Accounting for Firm Exit and Loss of Variety in the Welfare Cost of Regulations," Working Papers 2016-9, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    3. Andersen, Dana C., 2018. "Accounting for loss of variety and factor reallocations in the welfare cost of regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 69-94.
    4. Nigai, Sergey, 2017. "A tale of two tails: Productivity distribution and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 44-62.
    5. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 131-195, Elsevier.
    6. Ling-Yun He & Liang Wang, 2019. "Import Liberalization of Intermediates and Environment: Empirical Evidence from Chinese Manufacturing," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(9), pages 1-15, May.
    7. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 197-261, Elsevier.
    8. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2016. "Measuring the Unequal Gains from Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(3), pages 1113-1180.
    9. Geoffrey Barrows & Helene Ollivier, 2016. "Emission intensity and firm dynamics: reallocation, product mix, and technology in India," GRI Working Papers 245, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    10. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier & Philipp M. Richter, 2021. "Environmental Policy and Firm Selection in the Open Economy," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 655-690.
    11. Anouliès, Lisa, 2017. "Heterogeneous firms and the environment: a cap-and-trade program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 84-101.
    12. Richter, Philipp M. & Schiersch, Alexander, 2017. "CO2 emission intensity and exporting: Evidence from firm-level data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 373-391.
    13. Juin-Jen Chang & Yi-Ling Cheng & Shin-Kun Peng, 2019. "Trade, Emissions, and Regulatory (Non-)Compliance: Implications of Firm Heterogeneity," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 19-A005, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
    14. Treb Allen & Costas Arkolakis & Yuta Takahashi, 2020. "Universal Gravity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(2), pages 393-433.
    15. Agarwal, Sumit & Deng, Yongheng & Li, Teng, 2019. "Environmental regulation as a double-edged sword for housing markets: Evidence from the NOx Budget Trading Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 286-309.
    16. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    17. Shapiro, Joseph S., 2020. "The Environmental Bias of Trade Policy," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt7jh2s7d6, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    18. Yoshifumi Konishi & Nori Tarui, 2013. "Intra-Industry Reallocations and Long-run Impacts of Environmental Regulations," Working Papers 201307, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    19. Liu, Chen & Ma, Xiao, 2018. "China's Export Surge and the New Margins of Trade," MPRA Paper 103970, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2020.
    20. Stefano Bolatto & Massimo Sbracia, 2016. "Deconstructing the Gains from Trade: Selection of Industries vs Reallocation of Workers," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 344-363, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    environmental regulation; air quality; trade and environment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • F64 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Environment
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8789. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.